Adam Van Rees - 2015 Scholarship Winner

posted May 26, 2015, 12:38 PM by ASHRAE Saskatoon
2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference

First off, I would like to thank the ASHRAE Saskatoon Chapter for allowing me the opportunity to take part in this year’s Annual Winter Conference in Chicago, Illinois. It was a fantastic experience and I am grateful to have been able to partake in it. 

The programming for the entire conference was great, from the opening keynote address by Aron Ralston, to the AHR Expo at the McCormick Center. I also enjoyed the programming they organized for the students attending the conference. They provided multiple opportunities to network with others as well as a list of sessions that would be best suited for our skill set. I attended as many seminars as possible but only found a few that were at my level of understanding based on my educational background and experience. My favorite seminar was about indoor air quality. The speaker addressed how to prevent IAQ issues during the design process and how to identify problems that exist in previously existing buildings. 

I also had the chance to partake in two technical tours. First, was the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. We were told that it was one of the world’s greenest children’s hospitals so I appreciated being able to tour around and see the inner workings of the systems and mechanical rooms. The other tour I went on was of Walgreen’s Net-Zero store. This store is on track to produce more energy than it consumes by using efficient lighting, solar panels, and wind turbines out in the parking lot. The thing I found to be most valuable from these tours was how important communication is during the design stages. Most notably the communication involved with the architects; they and engineers need to come together in order to make buildings that are actually feasible. 

I think my favorite thing was attending AHR Expo. I enjoyed walking around to the different exhibitors and talking with different presenters. I was able to network with several different companies. I was amazed with the mere number of presenters and how many companies are involved in the HVAC industry. 

Overall, this was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot and met a lot of great people. I would advise anyone else interested in HVAC to attend in this conference in the future.